This article originally appeared on Education Technology Insights. To view the original article, click here.
Since its inception in 2002, Raptor Technologies (Raptor) has stood steadfast to its mission of protecting every child, every school, every day. “We really shine in providing an integrated suite of software and technologies that enables schools to maintain a secure learning environment where students and staff can thrive,” begins David Rogers, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Raptor.
As the gold standard in school safety software, Raptor focuses on three key areas—visitor, volunteer, and emergency management. The company’s industry-leading visitor management system screens every school visitor, including contractors, guardians, and volunteers, against updated U.S sex offender databases in all 50 states and custom school or district databases, like those containing custody orders or banned visitor status. The visitor’s personal information is obtained—ideally through scanning their government-issued ID—to conduct these screenings.
Administrators and security personnel are instantly alerted of potential risk. Once cleared, the system generates a badge with the approved person’s picture, name, date, time of entry, building name, and destination. This ensures that only an approved individual enters the premises. Visitors check-in with Raptor at the front desk or the entrance, either through a kiosk or through direct interaction with a staff member. Raptor also syncs all the information from the school’s student information system (SIS) to ensure the data is constantly updated with the latest student, staff, and guardian information.
Raptor Volunteer Management is an expansion of the visitor management system mainly targeted toward promoting engagement. This user-friendly software empowers schools to seamlessly manage online volunteer applications, perform full criminal background checks, track volunteer hours, manage events, and maintain automatic, robust reporting. In addition, the system encourages community involvement, streamlines the volunteer process, and provides security via its background check capability. Apart from this, schools can perform additional background checks based on their policies, ask volunteers to submit documentation such as driving records, and once the volunteer coordinator approves them, volunteers can check-in, check-out, and document all their hours in an online volunteer portal.
The third key area of focus is protecting and safeguarding life with Raptor Emergency Management. This allows teachers, staff, and appropriate responders to respond to any emergency confidently, whether it is an active shooter situation or a fight in the hallway. It offers real-time visibility during drills, active incidents, and reunification events while giving control in the hands of the schools to safely respond during emergencies. Administrators and staff can collaborate and get in touch with first responders and public safety personnel via text or phone call directly in the product. It can be used on any web-enabled device, offering navigation, manageable workflows, and an intuitive interface. School staff can seamlessly upload, organize, and display building maps, protocols, and emergency operations plans in the mobile app.
The emergency management system comes with four major elements — drill management, emergency alerting, accountability, and reunification. The drill management component helps schools run the required drill events smoothly and sends all the information about these events back to the school and district level. Schools are equipped with the practice piece that helps them prepare for any crisis. Staff can use the mobile panic button on their mobile phone from wherever they are. This automatically connects them to the emergency services department and alerts everyone on campus and the district office. To enhance this functionality even further, Raptor has partnered with RapidSOS, one of the leading portals to 911 that helps operators instantly identify the exact location and identity of the caller and the building information. The accountability aspect enables teachers and staff to account for any student and visitor during a crisis and mark them safe, injured, or missing. All this information is relayed to the incident commander and first responders in real-time. Finally, the emergency management system has a reunification component that helps the guardians get back with their child(ren) faster after an emergency. Once parents are screened and guardianship is confirmed, they are reunited with their child(ren). Additionally, the emergency management product can address everyday emergencies like a fight in the hallway or even assisting children with mental health issues.
In addition to these capabilities, Raptor is addressing issues around COVID-19 after schools reopen, including health screening, helping schools approve and track volunteers that will address learning loss, and equipping staff with tools that will assist in mental health crises. The company is helping school districts understand how to access federal COVID-19 relief funds, including the CARES, CRRSA, and ARP, which includes the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) that targets K-12 school districts. Raptor can help finance teams and grant writers access these funds with supporting documents and best practices to reopen their schools with ease. Furthermore, if students are threatening to self-harm, the mobile panic button can summon a counselor or nurse so the student can get the right help, and the crisis can be resolved, as quickly as possible.
Having established a strong foothold within the education space, Raptor Technologies currently serves more than 35,000 K-12 U.S. schools, with a retention rate of 98 percent. Driven by its mission to protect every child, every school, every day, the Raptor team is passionate about school safety and staying on the cutting edge of innovative school safety software. The company will continue to expand its products as the school safety climate changes.